The Prime Time Shootout is taking it's show on the road this year and the second stop of the four city tour lands in Atlanta this weekend. Eight teams from four states take to the court at Norcross High School on Saturday, Jan. 20 and Rivals.com will be on hand from start to finish.
Of the four Georgia teams in this year's field, three are defending state champions. The lone team without a ring from last year, Wheeler, boasts the state's top player in J.J. Hickson. Three of the teams in the field are ranked nationally while a number of others are on the bubble for a national top 50 ranking.
The host team, Norcross, is ranked eighth by StudentSports.com, has been busy on the national schedule. The Blue Devils have already played five top 25 teams this year, going 3-2 in that stretch and 2-0 against out of state competition. Future Georgia Tech forward Gani Lawal has been the stalwart for the top 10 program and continues his quest for a spot on the McDonald's All-American team.
Lawal is joined by a pair of high-major signees in Oklahoma bound guard Tony Neysmith and Florida State bound Jordan DeMercy. Both played well last week in Springfield, Mass. at the Hoophall Classic. Five-star junior Al-Farouq Aminu has been up and down this season. He's quickly becoming one of the most sought after players in the class of 2008 nationally.
Jacksonville's Arlington Country Day, no strangers on the national stage, will have the task of taking on the Blue Devils. Rex Morgan has a scrappy squad led by unsigned senior Devon Lamb and Kentucky bound forward A.J. Stewart. Freshman James Bell is one to watch in the 2010 class.
Wheeler High School is anchored by Hickson, a NC State signee, and the sharp-shooting of Adrian Williams, who recently committed to Brown. Unsigned senior big man Trey Lang holds down the other block while underclassmen Dequan Jones, a junior wing, and Phil Taylor, a freshman point guard, round out the starting lineup.
The Wildcats will play American Christian of Pennsylvania. Five-star junior Tyreke Evans leads the way for the club and is having a fine season. Seton Hall signee Michael Glover brings toughness to the frontline while UAB recruit Keenan Ellis gives the lineup length and versatility.
LeFlore (Ala.) head coach Otis Hughley always puts a team on the floor that will compete and prides itself in defense, hustle and take no prisoners attitude. LeFlore checks in at No. 9 overall in the latest USA Today. Led by unsigned senior Chris Blakes, 2008 Marquette commit Nick Williams and a host of other players always bring it.
Their style will be fun to watch against a team like Columbia, Georgia's 4A state champs last season. The Eagles (No. 23 USA Today) are a well coached, post oriented team that will look to future Georgia big man Jeremy Price and Georgia Tech bound wing Lance Storrs. Junior Travis Leslie is having a good season up to this point and will be a high-major target in the 2008 class.
Dunwoody High School, winners of back-to-back state titles, have been busy on the national circuit this season. Point guard Zac Swansey recently scored his 2,000th point in high school and will take his game to Georgia next year. Juniors Delwan Graham and Pierre Jordan give Scott Bracco other options to work with.
The Wildcats will play Pinecrest of Florida. Freshman Brandon Knight makes his first national appearance since shining at the Nike All-American camp this summer.
On tap Saturday, Jan. 20 1:00 p.m. - Dunwoody, GA vs. Pinecrest (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) 2:45 p.m. - Columbia (Decatur, GA) vs. Leflore (Mobile, AL) 4:30 p.m. - Wheeler (Marietta, GA) vs. American Christian (Aston, PA) 6:15 p.m. - Norcross, GA vs. Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, FL)